620 Second Language Reading

Survey of research in reading process; teaching methodology; psycholinguistic investigations; comparison of reading in first and second languages. Pre: 600.

What is reading, and how should it be taught to users of a second, additional, world, heritage or indigenous language? We can answer this question (somewhat) as a result of thinking about what reading is, from various disciplinary and cultural locations. At least we should think about reading as both a cognitive and a social process. We should think about it as something a person does alone (both extensively and intensively), but also as something a society does. We can consider it as leading to understanding, to communication (whether in speech or in writing), and as leading to action, including action for social change. (The latter is known as critical literacy.) We can consider it as unevenly distributed across time, space, culture and even gender; as part of literacy it provides access to power, or is a form of power itself. With these understandings somewhat in hand, we can think about various ways in which reading can or should appear within second language education: curriculum and materials— classroom practices, materials development, selection, adaptation, and evaluation, and assessment. Course content will balance theory and practice; the different interests and possible sites of practice or employment of students will be taken into account (including k-12, post-secondary, adult, “EFL”, “ESL”, and Languages Other Than English, depending on class composition).